Gentle Shepherd Blog

Our team at Gentle Shepherd Hospice wants you to have the practical information you need to make the most of every day. Check out these helpful articles and devotionals written by Kim Eckenroth our co-founder and VP of patient care.

What is a “CCRC?”

What is a “CCRC?”

A CCRC, or continuing care retirement community, answers the desire to "move just once." Rather than relocate several times over the course of aging, your loved one can stay on one campus. Even as care needs change. Typically, residents start by moving in to an...

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Adding meaning to your life

Adding meaning to your life

Each new year's dawning seems like a nudge to check one's personal compass. Are you headed in the direction you want to be going? Has life seemed just a frenzied dash through the to-do list? Or maybe your past year was dominated by feelings of frustration or futility....

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What is a speech therapist?

What is a speech therapist?

For many of us, the words "speech therapy" make us think of a classmate in grade school who had trouble because of stuttering. In fact, speech therapists help with many problems that crop up later in life. Consider stroke, Parkinson's, dementia, and brain injury. All...

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Dad lost weight!

Dad lost weight!

A holiday visit sometimes reveals surprising changes, such as little food in the cupboard, a loved one's loss of appetite, or his or her unexpected weight loss. Talk with the doctor first. A weight loss of 5% over 6–12 months is considered worthy of medical attention....

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Overcoming sadness

Overcoming sadness

Whether you are caring for a loved one with dementia or helping a relative with cancer, sometimes the sadness of it all feels overwhelming. Especially at the holidays. The sadness is natural, of course. But you don't want to get paralyzed by it. Pivoting from the...

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Visiting in the digital age

Visiting in the digital age

Today, there are many ways to stay in touch with the elders we love. That's a good thing because research suggests that older adults who are socially engaged enjoy greater happiness and a sense of purpose. Those who are isolated and lonely are at a higher risk of...

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Coping with the Holiday Blues

Coping with the Holiday Blues

Caring for a seriously ill family member can lend a tinge of blue to the holidays. It may be sadness that cherished family rituals are no longer possible. Or you may be worried that this year will be the last for a sick or ailing loved one. Perhaps the thought of...

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Diet and Parkinson’s

Diet and Parkinson’s

Dietary habits make a big difference in quality of life for people with Parkinson's. Eating-related symptoms often crop up. For example, difficulties with swallowing. Also, problems with constipation as a result of slow muscle response. And problematic food–drug...

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Celebrating 25 Years!

Celebrating 25 Years!

The other day, Leana Kail, our CEO, sent an all-staff email that is quite timely, considering that December 1 commemorates 25 years of Gentle Shepherd Hospice providing end of life care in Roanoke, Lynchburg and the surrounding communities.   From Leana.......

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Too much gratitude?

Too much gratitude?

The benefits of gratitude are well understood. Studies show, for example, that approaching life from a grateful stance yields a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, and better sleep. Plus, people who report more gratitude also report greater feelings of joy,...

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A Dream Come True

A Dream Come True

A while back, we were contacted by the son of one of our CNAs, Tracy Ritter, seeking support for his Eagle Scout project – to rebuild one of the overlook decks on Mill Mountain. Impressed with Wesley’s initiative for such an ambitious undertaking, Gentle Shepherd made...

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